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Facebook could have to pay another multi-million dollar fine


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Weeks after the Federal Trade Commission united States (FTC, for its acronym in English) announced the imposition of a fine on Facebook for $5 billion ($5,000 million), after an investigation for violations of the privacy and lack of control of personal data of its users, now the social network could also face heavy fines by the European Union (EU).

According to the Wall Street Journal reports, the EU research around some of the cases opened against Facebook is coming to an end. The cases were opened on the basis of the General Regulation of Data Protection in the European Union, and the report ensures that the commission leading the investigation has already submitted their final reports.

If you’re not familiar with, GDPR is a set of data privacy laws in the EU, which were designed to give their citizens greater control over their personal data and how it is collected, stored and used. The law entered into force on 25 may 2018.

It is expected that decisions related to Facebook, as well as fines and penalties proposed, to be declared at the end of September. We will keep you informed with the development of this situation.

Fine historical imposed by the FTC

The fine imposed on Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission of the united States on July 24, by $5 trillion ($5,000 billion), is the penalty largest in the history of the FTC, and despite the huge number, Facebook agreed to pay for it.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the company, published on the site shortly after the announcement: “Agreed to pay a fine historical, but even more important, we will make major structural changes in the way in which we create products and we manage this company. We have the responsibility to protect the privacy of individuals. We are already working hard to be at the height of this responsibility, but now we will impose a completely new standard for our industry.”

This fine is the result of a formal complaint filed by the FTC, which alleged that Facebook used conditions misleading that weakened the privacy of the user, and violated an agreement signed in 2012.

“The magnitude of the fine from $5,000 to millions of dollars and the extensive measures are unprecedented in the history of the FTC,” said its president, Joseph Simons, in a statement. “The intent of the measures is not only to punish future violations, but, more important, to completely change the culture of privacy of Facebook to decrease the likelihood of the continuation of the violations”, he supplemented.

Facebook also had to access to undergo a more strict supervision of their privacy practices. A committee will be formed for oversight of privacy with independent members who may not be dismissed by Zuckerberg, who will be in charge of naming those who would be responsible for certifying each time that Facebook itself is in compliance with the agreement made with the FTC. It will also be necessary that Zuckerberg make those certifications.

The assessments of the privacy practices of Facebook made by a third party would not be based on material provided by the company, but in the findings of the researchers.

Simons also pointed out that, in case of a false certification, Zuckerberg and the appointed managers would be directly responsible for the civil and criminal penalties.

On the other hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission of the united States announced that Facebook had agreed to pay $100 million for charges related to disclosures misleading related to the risk of misuse of user data.

The vote was 3-2 in favor of approving this fine. The two democrat members were in disagreement, under the argument that the measure was not sufficient, that the figure was too low and that the FTC was leaving without punishment to Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, director of operations of Facebook.

“To not hold them accountable only encourages other elected officials to be negligent in complying with their legal obligations. In my opinion, it is appropriate to blame personally to the officials when there is reason to believe that they had a significant participation in illegal conduct, or that turned a blind eye so negligent when his subordinates did the same,” wrote Rohit Chopra, commissioner of the FTC.

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